The other night the ever-creative Carla and I went to the Linux Caffe and took a workshop course on how to make jewelry out of old electronics parts. The workshop wasn't held in the café proper, but in a room in the same building that felt like one of those workshops created from a garage (although in this particular case, it wasn't). There was a big heap of electronics in the centre of a large table, plus jewelry findings and some mismatched jewelry beads. We were also given a box full of various cutting, gripping, and bending tools to break apart and shape things. Finally, there were a couple of glue guns to attach things in new ways. The instructor gave us some pointers on how to work things, explained a few basic safety rules (power tools = wear safety goggles), and we were off.
The group at the other end of the table lucked out and found some parts that were lined with copper. They cut the copper lining into strips and made all sorts of things with it.
As you might be able to tell from the photo, I wound up making all of my stuff from a single controller board I found. I liked the dark green color, and it was thin enough that I could cut it into pieces with a regular pair of scissors. That let me be a bit more precise — check out the rounded corners on the brooch for proof.
I glue-gunned all the pieces to jewelry findings while I was there, then did a little refining once I got home. I added the earring hooks myself at home, and I added the extra jump rings to the necklace pendant so that it would fit onto my favourite necklace chain. Because I kept things so minimal, I wound up being done way before everyone else, but I was happy with the results, so that was okay.
Normally I don't like to do glue-type DIY stuff, just because of the hordes of "crafts" which involve gluing together a few pre-fab pieces, but this was pretty satisfying. I think it's because you have to decide how everything is going to work together yourself.
What's been interesting to me is the reactions I've been getting. People have generally been very positive. A lot of people have wanted details so they could make their own. It's all very cyberpunk à la William Gibson's novels, but it works in real life.